I Love Typography

Codex type

Perhaps you thought ‘The Week in Type’ was dead. Well, this post marks its resurrection. It won’t be weekly just yet, but from 2011 it will be: a weekly roundup of new releases, type and lettering to inspire, type tips, videos, and lots, lots more. If you haven’t yet subscribed to ILT, then do so now — that way, you’ll never miss a thing. So, ladies and gentleman, without further ado, I present The Week in Type. Enjoy.

The biggest news from my camp is that ILT will soon be a publisher, the publisher of Codex, the journal of typography. A real ink and paper magazine, measuring approximately A4, and weighing in at around 150 pages. An eclectic mix of longer articles, shorter essays, opinion pieces, interviews, type tips, inspiring type treatments, and … well, you’ll see. I’m more than a little excited about its launch. The presses will begin rolling Q1, 2011. I hope to be taking pre-orders at the end of January. Codex will be available online, and will ship anywhere in the world. The plan is for Codex to be a quarterly. Codex is also looking for advertisers, so if you’d like to be a part of the magazine, then send an email to johno@ilovetypography.com

Enough about me. 3, 2, 1:

Always nice to begin with something beautiful. Patrica has photographed and uploaded these wonderful lettering specimens from the French Album du peintre en batîment (1882). Here are just two to whet your typographic appetites (lettering appetites to be precise; but perhaps they will inspire revivals or derivative works.

Beautiful isn’t it.

And just one more. This one struck me! Remember this is dated 1882, yet this rounded sans looks so much more recent. Bearing the caption Forme Bambous, or Bamboo shaped! Looks more like steel to me.

Lots more to drool over in Patricia’s Flickr stream.

Sixteenth century scribes didn’t own marker pens, but had they, then they might have done something like this. The wonderfully talented Luca Barcellona:

Legacy of Letters from Vimeo.

Typograph, a very useful little tool for web typography. An easy way to create vertical rhythm.

Like this work from Dowling | Duncan:

via @klimtypefoundry. Ten points if you can name the typeface.

Ttype is an interesting way to find fonts. For now it only supports Safari and Chrome. It uses the MyFonts database, so tens of thousands of fonts:

A fun book, that would make a fine Christmas present. Hyperactivitypography from A to Z, published by Gestalten.

via @CreativeReview

Chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate? Chocolate type! Well, you just can’t go wrong, though I might feel a little guilty munching on these gorgeous glyphs. I want to see Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche eating these in Chocolat Deux.

Drawn, molded, poured (and no doubt eaten) by the Type & Media students. Extra points if you can name all the type styles.

And the making of:

Type]Media2011 Chocolate Letters from Yanone on Vimeo.

New type

Let’s begin with a script. Stephen Rapp’s Hiatus. Lots of alternates and flourishes. Though it’s a connected script, its low body and generous extenders let in a lot of light. A very pretty script:

Lady Rene, a collaboration between Laura Varsky & Ale Paul:

Modern takes on Blackletter types can be disastrous, but recently, Martin Wenzel, with Ode, showed that it can be pulled off. The recently launched BAT foundry has pulled it off too. Here’s Adso, drawn by Bruno Bernard. Impressive:

Commercial Type’s latest release will have you sighing ‘oh!’ when you’re looking at the roman; then you’ll be moaning orgasmatronic oohs upon seeing the italic — the fatter the italic, the bigger the ooh. It really is lovely. Paul Barnes’ Dala Floda started out as a logo, then was used by frieze in 2005. Now it’s been expanded to twelve fonts, including that voluptuous Fat Italic. Stencil meets French Renaissance:

Svetoslav Simov’s reinterpretation of Art Deco in his Aston:

Another stencil type. Ray Cruz’s Cruz Stencil:

And one more: Embarcadero from MVB Fonts. Grotesque sans meets vernacular signage. Love it.

Other type

Leyton, a lovely, fat, counterless display face from The Colour Grey, and available through MyFonts.

Perfect for Christmas. Surprised I haven’t yet seen this typeface used in an ad campaign for Marks and Sparks or Coca Cola: Snowflake from Drop Cap Queen, Jessica Hische.

Tips & tricks

A very neat solution to custom kerning in Adobe InDesign:

Custom kerning in Adobe InDesign with GREP

Add subpixel-hinting to your PhotoShop text layers:

Font Game

Any day now the updated version of the smash-hit Font Game for iPhone and iPod touch will be submitted to the app store. Version two comes with lots more fonts, a terminology game, scalable samples, favourites, Retina Display graphics, Game Center integration, and much more. I’ll shout its release on Twitter. Justin Stahl, the app’s developer, has done an exceptional job. I can’t wait for you all to see it.

Sneak peek at the upcoming Font Game HD for the iPad. Expect it to hit the app store in January.

Type Links

The last letter engraver Kinnosuke Shimizu.
Where Microsoft beats Apple — via @zeldman
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Typeface
TeX line breaking algorithm in JavaScript
WOFF File Format 1.0 Submission Request to W3C
Font Displayer for testing typefaces on the iPad.
Helvetica vs. Arial iPhone app.
Worthy text alternatives to Georgia.
Web Type at Last! — John D. Berry.

Henry Caslon’s specimen of printing types digitized by Google books:

Henry Caslon specimen book

I’ve ordered mine — Issue number two of 8 Faces magazine. Get yours before they’re sold out. Interviews with Martin Majoor, Ale Paul, Stephen Coles, Tim Brown, Nick Sherman, Rich Rutter, Veronika Burian, and José Scaglione.

And, just in case you missed it, be sure to read H&FJ’s Four Techniques for Combining Typefaces. Forget those silly out-dated, arbitrary cross-reference grids. Read the H&FJ article instead.

Emigre has produced a wonderful series of specimens in their Historia catalog.

Great examples of how to combine type. These demonstrate too that the rules about mixing and matching type are mostly nonsense.

Back to H&FJ: their entire library is now available in OpenType format. Particularly pleased to see Requiem in there. That reminds me: one more H&FJ news item. Something many will be excited about. On Twitter, Jonathan Hoelfer (HEFF-lur) writes that H&FJ webfonts are on the horizon.

And finally…

I have begun compiling my list of favourite types for 2010. Knowing my luck, December will witness an avalanche of beautiful new types. If that happens, then I guess I’ll just extend the list. In the meantime, you might want to take another look at my 2009 list.

Hopefully, some time before the sun turns into a red giant and vaporises our solar system, I’ll be rolling out a redesign of this site. Very excited about next year, what with Codex, that redesign, weekly Week in Types, and A Beautiful Book, a sumptuously illustrated book I’m co-authoring with Dr Paul Dijstelberge.

Next week on ILT: Sea changes — the coming of the book.

Have a great weekend! It’s back to lots of coffee and lots of InDesign for me.

Header set in Photina MT, Ultra Bold Italic.


  1. Great return !

  2. Great collection, thanks for that. Glad it’s back!

  3. Nobody

    Two linked items that deal with kings and forests….

  4. Brilliant, glad it’s back Johno!

    Very much looking forward to the Codex as well. Will definitely be pre-ordering myself a copy.

  5. Thanks for including the chocolate letters! Perhaps you should note that those are the clay models, the actual chocolate ones look much more appetizing! Yanone (@yanone) is making a video of the process, so perhaps you should talk to him about that.

  6. FV

    Yay! The week in type is back, I can hardly believe it… early Christmas present? :)

  7. Epic come back Johno! Looking forward to more iLT (& related projects) in 2011. Keep up the great work :)

  8. johno


    Thanks. Have now embedded the video.

  9. Bam ! That’s what I call a come back !
    Superb list, thanks for sharing !
    Can’t wait to see your 2010 favourite types list…

  10. Very very interesting things on this post. Well done !
    I hope to see more of “The Week In Type” now.

  11. Nice to see this week in type come back like a storm! Looking forward to seeing all of your 2011 projects … this gives us a lot to look forward to for the coming year.

  12. Joe Moran

    Thank you much~

    Very Respectfully,

  13. THANK YOU!

    This made my day, I love the week in type! (such a typomaniac)… haha.

  14. Welcome back Week in Type! You’ve been missed.

  15. brillliant! i’m a dj and budding designer keen on learning the task and trade you seem to know so well! keep up the great work and i’ll definitely be checking back here on the double!

  16. Beautiful page of type - the French album (Album du peintre en batîment ) looks great, some lovely type examples.

  17. this is a nice collection of types… i guess i need my daily fix of good type and this is it!


  18. This is great! I love this website!

  19. Album du peintre en batîment has me inspired!

  20. great feature!

  21. Great to see you back!

  22. Your post is really mind blowing and amazing, thanks for such a lovely blog

  23. that was really beautiful, inspiring, interesting and useful too. Thank you for sharing!!



  24. Incredible inspiration here. Thank you for sharing this!

  25. John, happy new year! It’s been an AGE since I’ve been on ILT - RL sort of ate me up whole, but I still have that copy of Ellen Lupton’s book that you sent me for writing that novella on the typeface identification competition and believe me, I keep reading it and loving it.

    The site looks gorgeous and the Week in Type is wonderful! (especially chocolate type. I am a pretty avid baker.)

    I do have a somewhat odd (and stupid) question: are there any -music- fonts, good ones? The reason I ask is that I am a voice coach/choral instructor and recently I was in Vietnam with my choir to participate in singing Mahler’s 8th Symphony for the 1000 years of Hanoi celebrations. The score that we had was -difficult- to read because a) everything in it was small b) there were around 5-8 staves per line of music. After reading through some of the old entries to catch up, I have to wonder if this readability issue might be improved with a different music notation…well do you even call it a font?

    (I might add that I often have to arrange songs for the school choirs I teach, and this involves using notation software on the computer so I can print out legible copies for my students to sing from, hence the other reason for the enquiry. I HATE how illegible everything gets in Finale and Noteworthy (music software) when I have to shrink the stave down!)

  26. Great collection of fonts, lets hope 2011 will bring us some more ideas.

  27. Nicely done and I am so interested to see an eBook or eMag of CODEX - sure we all love the real deal, but wouldn’t that be cool too.

  28. Has anyone tried the font game yet?

  1. Adso | Neville Park—Dec 11, 2010
  2. Codex | Tipografika.lt—Dec 16, 2010
  3. LINK LOVE: 1.3.11 |—Jan 3, 2011

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